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What Have Jordan, Morocco Done Differently?

Al-Monitor describes the progressive and reform-based approach taken by Morocco and Jordan, which served to stem the tide in their respective countries of the instability that swept the region.

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[AFP/Abdelhak Senna] From electoral laws to subsidy reforms, Moroccan parliamentarians will face a range of issues when they get back to work.

Morocco’s Parliament. Photo: AFP/Abdelhak Senna

Oh pessimistic Arab, do not limit your field of vision to Iraq and Syria, their collapse, and the rivers of blood and hatred that now flow in both countries. Do not limit your field of vision to Libya, which has traded its freedom and victory against dictatorship for chaos, turmoil and conflict between yesterday’s revolutionaries. Do not limit it either to Yemen, which has lost its wisdom. Look to Jordan and Morocco, for in those countries there is hope and space for reform, news of which has been drowned out in the clamor of the Arab Spring.

These two Arab countries, neither of which is an oil state, were almost struck by the same misfortunes that struck other Arab countries amid the still ongoing wave of the Arab Spring. However, they were both able to ride that wave. They did it not by setting aside or delaying its demands, nor by resorting to force, tyranny, security and arrests. Rather, they turned the Arab Spring and its demonstrations and anger into positive energy. They effected a reconciliation between the government and the people by raising the standard of reform and making reform a demand shared by king and citizen.

Jordan and Morocco are two models that can be emulated by those who are still holding firm and have not been left behind. They include states that collapsed into civil war, like Syria, are in fear of doing so, like Yemen and Libya, or fell apart, like Iraq. Reform in these states is all but too late, and they require external intervention. The longer their situation is neglected, the worse they will become and the more they will affect their neighbors…[Full Story]

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